In 1997 Gdansk celebrated 1000 years of recorded history. Since its foundation Gdansk has been significant in the history of Europe. It is a multicultural town blending the past with the future, which create a unique climate. The town with spirit of tolerance and liberalism. World rules have fought for Gdansk strategic location but have never conquered its independent spirit. Napoleon Bonaparte said: "Gdansk is the key to everything".
Gdansk has always been important because it is situated on the cross roads of nautical and land trade routes, linking the east with the west, and the north with the south. Because of its location on the Vistula mouth, Gdansk has been a leading Polish sea port and one of the biggest in Europe.
Gdansk has been home to many Europeans. Apart from numerous Germans, Dutch, English and Scots, who coexisted with the Kashubians and Poles, there were also Scandinavians, Hungarians, Italians, French and Jews living here. These many nationalities created a special atmosphere consisting of various economic factors, customs and cultural trends of numerous nations, religions and ideas.
After the First World War, based on the Peace Treaty of Versailles, Danzig became a Free and Sovereign City (Freie Stadt Danzig) under the Protection of the League of Nations with its own currency (Gulden and Phennig), flag, constitution, parliament (Volkstag) and government (Senat). On the 1st September 1939, after almost 20 years of its existence Freie Stadt Danzig was annexed to Germany and almost six years later it was ruined and burned by Red Army.
To read the history of the city click on the area on map below.